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Emergency Room Cost Overcharges

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If you were an uninsured patient billed an excessive amount for emergency room treatment at a major hospital, you may be the victim of emergency room overcharges. An emergency room bill for uninsured patients is often much greater than the emergency room cost or ER bill that is submitted to an insurance company for the same ER treatment. If you have an emergency room medical bill dispute—regardless of whether you paid all, a portion, or none of the bill—attorneys who are currently investigating excessive emergency room fees and ER overcharges that patients who do not have insurance have been billed for.


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Uninsured Emergency Room Cost

scparamedicovertime Most everyone knows that receiving emergency room treatment may be expensive, but sometimes it is unavoidable. People end up in a hospital ER for a number of reasons: they don't have a regular doctor; their heart is pounding or they may be experiencing stroke symptoms; they have suffered an injury, such as a broken bone due to a fall; a dog bite or a severe allergic reaction requires immediate attention.

Whatever the situation, patients who are uninsured and don't qualify for Medicare, Medicaid or other state-provided coverage can see emergency costs anywhere from 2-4 times the rate of insured patients for the same exact ER treatment, which can translate to thousands of dollars. This practice is not only grossly unfair, but it often impacts those least able to pay such excessive ER charges. As a result of over-billing, uninsured patients end up leaving the emergency room with bills that are completely out of proportion to those people with medical insurance for the same ER treatment rendered.

More than 46 million Americans do not have health insurance. When these people are unable to pay exorbitant emergency room overcharges, they can become harassed by collection agencies, have their credit ruined, or even wind up in bankruptcy court.

ER Charges for Uninsured Patients vs. Insured Patients

Hospitals nationwide charge their so-called grossly inflated "retail prices"to their uninsured patients, whereas insured patients typically are charged rates 50-75 percent less. This means that uninsured patients end up being billed for emergency room care at double or triple the rates charged to the insurer of the patients sitting right next to them in the ER, for the exact same treatment.

For instance, an uninsured patient may be billed $15,000 for a single overnight stay, which includes diagnostics—scans, x-rays, etc.—any treatments, and drugs. But an insurance carrier will typically be charged $3,000-$5,000 for the exact same stay and treatment. The same is true with minor injuries, such as a dog bite. In such a case, an uninsured patient might be charged $800 for a few shots and stitches, whereas the insured patient's carrier is charged $250.

While attorneys advise all ER patients to check their hospital admission agreement and inquire as to potential charges before signing on the dotted line, it is especially important for uninsured patients to know what their ER charges may be upfront. Unfortunately, in a true emergency, careful review of the emergency room admission agreement may not be feasible. As such, an uninsured emergency room patient may simply wind up at the mercy of high emergency room costs and only realize his excessive emergency room bill later on when it's too late.

Hospital ER Overcharges Lawsuit

Attorneys have filed successful lawsuits against hospitals, including a major hospital chain in Washington, alleging plaintiffs have been overcharged for ER treatment, especially when compared with insured patients, or patients with Medicare and Medicaid.

Some pending lawsuits are awaiting class certification. Patients who were uninsured and received treatment at a hospital ER and did not receive a special discount on their billing, may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the hospital, regardless of whether they paid all, part or none of their hospital bill.

Emergency Room Overcharging Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered similar losses, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a Consumer Fraud lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
Please click here for a free evaluation of your Emergency Room Charges claim

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Michigan Patient Billed Over $1,000 for Sitting in the Waiting Room
Michigan Patient Billed Over $1,000 for Sitting in the Waiting Room
February 23, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI:Judy Burton did what most people do when they begin suffering unexplained pains while at home on a Saturday evening: she proceeded to the nearest emergency room to get checked out. The Michigan resident told FOX 17 News (11/17/17) that she wound up not requiring treatment after her pains subsided and after about an hour simply left the waiting room and went home. Imagine her surprise when she received a bill about 2 weeks later for over $1,000 in emergency room charges [READ MORE]

Medical Billing and Hospital Overcharges - What Happened to the Hippocratic Oath of "first, do no harm"?
Medical Billing and Hospital Overcharges - What Happened to the Hippocratic Oath of "first, do no harm"?
February 19, 2018
Tampa, FL: Attorney Ben Stewart is seeing an increase in hospital overcharging, mostly to uninsured people. "Look carefully at your medical bills. If you have been overcharged and have either started a payment schedule or completed payment, you may be entitled to monetary damages," says Stewart [READ MORE]

Are ER’s Cashing in on Upcoding?
Are ER’s Cashing in on Upcoding?
February 3, 2018
Washington, DC Since 2009 emergency room charges have jumped by as much as 85 percent. Are patients really sicker? Has the actual cost of care gone up that much? Are hospitals price-gouging? For both uninsured patients and those with big deductibles, the bottom line is the same – a gaping hole in the pocketbook [READ MORE]

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We are a fairly healthy family that rarely go to doctors so we opted for a "savings account" type insurance this year and last meaning my husbands company give us around 1400$ a year for medical that we can use toward any medical. There is a deductible of I think it's 2800$ but since we have not been to the doctor more than twice in 5 years we opted for this. My son happened to get the stomach flu pretty bad and was severely dehydrated. knowing I could not go to the doctors office because he definitely needed IV fluids I took him to the local ER. They gave hi 1 bag of fluids, an anti diarrhea med, an anti nausea med and sent him home. He was there for 3 hrs and literally saw the actual doctor for 5 minute! Our bill for the ER alone was 2300$ and then got another separate bill specifically for the doctor that was 2100$ this is super ridiculous and they should not be able to do this to people!

Posted by Shelley on

Went to the ER with chest pain. Turned out to be nothing. They ordered every test that came to their mind without my consent. The bill for the ER alone was $25,000. Other bills for doctors, labs, and radiology came separate for an additional $5000. Texas Memorial Hermann Hospital... never again.

Posted by Nick on

I went to the ER, for pain on the lower left chest area. They did an ekg and a portable chest xray. my bill was over $20,000. I disputed the 2 ekgs on the bill and a ct scan with contrast. they removed the extra ekg, but they refuse to remove the ct scan which is over $7,000. I asked for a copy of the ct scan and they gave me one, but how can I prove it is not mine, because i never left the room. so they couldn't have given me a ct scan with contrast as they state on the bill. besides this the doctor told me i was constipated, and sent me home. She never notice the rash on my left lower chest area. it took my pharmacist to tell me that I had shingles. over charged and misdiagnosed.

Posted by jerry lopez on

I recently went to an er in dallas i was having fever and migranes. After vitals They did a simple blood test. Then a quick urine test that was in cup analysis. They also did a ct scan. I got 3 seperate bills. The ct totaled $423.00 not too bad. The physician chatge was just over 2k. And the er bill was $17002.44... I am waiting for an itemized bill i requested. How in the world does a blood and urine test cost stumped they ended up saying it was a sinus infection and sent me home with 2 paper scripts. Please help. Thank you C.

Posted by Idliketoremainanonymous on

I strained myself after moving a steel bench. I arrived to the emergency room of Bayfront hospital in Saint Petersburg, Florida at 5:30am and got discharge at 10:00am. I received a prescription of muscle relaxer (which I was looking for. I was also prescribed and pain killer.

I received a bill over $12,504.22. If was was told that my bill would have exceeded $700.00, I would have left and waited for a walk-in clinic to open.

While I don't agree with the high cost of the physician and radiology, I was there and therefore making payments on them. However, For the ER, that was the largest bill. I asked for the detail. I called and no one can answer those questions. I was also making payments to them in good faith while trying to resolve this in some way. They were taking the monthly payment and sent the bill to collection and now a threat of lawsuit.

For a strain checkup and prescription this is unjust to have such a charge. I need your help. I truly hope that an attorney can sue the hospital to prevent them from hurting other people.

I hope that I do not have to fight this by myself against an experience attorney. However, I rather take my chances in hope that will caution them from doing this.

Any help that I can get from you will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Gerald Morin

Posted by GERALD MORIN on

I fainted. I have always fainted more than average - once or twice a year and it hasn't been a big problem. Wife called the ambulance. I woke while in the ambulance and demanded release. I kept repeatedly saying, "I refuse medical attention." Denied. They held me down and strapped me to the gurney. Similar once I got to the ER as they hauled me into the ER strapped down to a gurney with me the entire time demanding release. Mysteriously fell asleep and woke up hours later with IV's and a catheter in me. Tiny bump on my head healed in 72 hours - no evidence it was even treated (no band aid, beta-dine, etc). Black and blue up and down my arms from the IV's lasted over two weeks. Refused to sign anything. ER bill 11,848 - no itemization. Dr bill over 1K, Radiology 500.00, haven't gotten the ambulance bill yet. What gives?

Posted by Indiana on

Took my husband to the ER because his eyeball was swelling and I freaked out. It was 10:30 at night and there was not another single person in the building (one of those stand-alone ER places, kind of like Urgent Care). We were there for less than an hour. The doctor gave him some eye drops for an allergic reaction and we left. Got our first bill for the doc: $300 after insurance. Not too bad. Got a second bill... $4000 for emergency services, $5 for the eye drops, and $175 exam room fee. Insurance covered all but $1900. I am completely blown away and there isn't anything we can do about it...

Posted by Colorado on

Every time I have been to my hospital for chest pains all they have done is offer me hard meds which I don't accept or take. I may get an xray and an EKG depending on the Dr. I leave the hospital 2hrs later feeling the same way I did when I arrived, and then receive bills in excess of $2,000 to $3,000 I have even been charged a $900 hospital check in fee just to sit in a lobby for hours.

Posted by Donald R on

Wife went to urgent care for trouble breathing, They ran a bunch of tests,There is a hospital next door .They wheeled her over there for a CT scan. We got billed for that scan as we where in the ER..$4600 for a test that every image center charges $550 for. My insurance as nice as they are only let them charge me $2600. My great insurance I pay $1300 a month for thanks for paying NOTHING.

Posted by Bill on

Recently made a trip to the ER due to excessive abdominal pain from an old injury. I wasn't there looking to get a fix on pain meds, I refused the narcotics when they tried pushing them into my IV. I talked with the doc for about 10 minutes tops, CT scan, and some blood work done. I spent roughly 4 hours in the I could hear the nurses and doctor laughing and cutting up at the desk. A week later I received two separate bills, one for the doctor and one for the CT scan, collectively $700. Not so bad....3 days later I received another bill but this was just from the hospital $6,370.....the f@%k?

Posted by Ohio on

We went to North Cypress Medical Center's ER because my son started to complain about a sharp sudden stomach pain on the lower right side. Our worry was appendicitis. After some testing it was determined he was constipated. I got a bill today for $14,000.....

Posted by juan dominguez on

I went to the emergency room after I passed out. A month later got a bill for around $1,200 and after some time i got bill showing amount of $3,500 somthing and they said all your charges were not induced in your fist bill you got this is your final bill. i was admitted in hospital just for 4 hours so i can't figure it out ,I am a student and I cannot afford this.

Posted by mallavika on

I've been made to pay unnecessary cost resulting from my ER visit.

Posted by Bill Fitzgerald on

I had very bad pains in the area of my gullbladder for 5 nights in a row and could not sleep. I was very busy with work and could not get to my doctor during the day so I stopped at the ER close to my house north suburban of Denver. Before I went in I asked how much it would cost to get it looked at and they said they were not allowed to tell me that. I don't know of any business that can get away with charging whatever they want after they preform the service, so I left. The next day it was so bad and I got to my doctors office too late so I went back to the ER and tried again. They told me the same thing and were very apologetic acknowledging the absurdity of not being allowed to know even an estimate of what it would cost to look for gullblader problems. I was in so much pain a signed in thinking that the most it would cost would be about $1500. They gave me a sonnagram taking about 15minutes, I watched tv in the room for 1 1/2 hrs waiting for the results. I was told I have sludge in my gullbladder and I should get it removed. I wasn't about to do that. It turns out 2 days later I found shingles on the area of my stomach, I don't think it was my gullbladder at all. Also,they never told me that they don't take my insurance. Bottom line I received a bill for $6700. This is absolute robbery its just like stealing to me. $3400 for er, $3300. diagnostic. I was there for 2hrs received 1 test, paid the girl that did it $79 so really does 1 sonnagram cost $6600. Is the Er made of golden walls and floors? This is insane. people are going to die rather than go to the ER as more and more folks find this out

Posted by mike meredith on

Hospitals charge extreme amount of money and health insurance company avoid paying everything. So medical in USA is deteriorating so fast. If something happen to me and the ambulance takes to ER I will not sign anything and I will not want them to treat me. This is absurd.

Posted by Gus on

I struggled really bad for a while because I had to pay so much to Swedish for emergency room charges. Over $10,000 worth. I had no job at the time and they threatened collections if I didn't pay. Not once did they offer a charity program. I was looking through Swedish policy and came across a class action lawsuit on Swedish in 2013. I never received any info on this lawsuit and I am now wondering if I can sue/retrieve the thousands paid out to them at the time. Any information regarding this would be appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by Washington on

Tripped and fell in my driveway and broke left cheekbone and other bones on left side. Driven by my sister to emergency room. We were told they don't treat trauma cases and I was sent to another hospital 50 miles away by ambulance, but not before they sent me to to radiology for x-ray and CT scans. I was there about two hours. My bill for being uninsured was over 15K. Almost 10K of which was radiology. I have another approximately 4K in separate charges for ER doctor; $1,500, $880 to read x-rays, $740 for two-hour ambulance ride. There are a couple others amounting to about another $1,000. I was in shock but told them I was uninsured and do not remember signing any papers in the condition I was in.

Posted by Florida on

ER room visit for stomach pains resulted in $12,000 in bills. Insurance denied the claim.

Posted by Florida on

I went to the hospital with stomach pains. They gave me an IV of fluids, which I didn't need. They did blood and urine tests and sent me home. The bill is over $4,000, which is ridiculous. The young doctor who said she knew nothing about what might be happening said it wasn't urgent and I should go see my primary care doctor on Monday. They did absolutely nothing to help me yet charged me outrageous fees.

Posted by Colorado on

I was only there from 2 p.m. till around 6 p.m. I passed out and fell in the casino and they called the ambulance. My bill is $13,547 and they only did a head scan, a knee scan, checked my heart, and that's it. No medicine or nothing. I did not stay overnight. I had no medical insurance. Please help. Thank you.

Posted by Nevada on

This hospital did excessive testing when all I needed was six stitches. I repeatedly told her that I just needed my lip sewn up. The result was a $40,000 bill I can't pay. That seems quite a lot for six stitches. As a result I could not refinance my home so that I might lower the payment. My family and I are struggling money-wise like everyone else.

Posted by California on

I came in with blisters on my hand, mouth and feet. All they did was a swab of my mouth and blood work. I was not given any medicine (just a prescription for mouthwash) and told I had hand-foot-and-mouth disease. I am very out done at the charges. I was charged for 2-3 hours. And on my bill they never described what I was charged $15,020.00 for. Nothing stating they charged me $3,000 for blood work just a flat bill balance owing $15,020.00. That's a very ridiculous price for what I was seen for.

Posted by Texas on

I was charged all together $1,500.00 for an ER visit when I had Kaiser insurance and had been real close to my deductible. They kept asking me if I was working and if I had insurance. I said yes 10 times. I have worked at Apria Healthcare for 16 years. Now I have a bad mark on my credit and now harassing calls on my cell phone.

Posted by California on

I went to the hospital for a lower back strain and all they did was touch my feet and back. There was no machine to scan anything and then I got a prescription. Now I’m getting mail from the doctor for around $300 and another one from the hospital for $900; almost $1,000 for 10 minutes and maybe not even that.

Posted by Oklahoma on

Years ago I was overcharged in a Er bill for the amount of $17,000 for 5 stitches.This is going on all over the medical field.It is taking a toll on peoples credit reports, lives and so much more.Numerous people are being sued for these outrageous bills by a 5 to 8 times overpriced charge master rate.Please examine your bills for these overcharges, especially if you all not insured or underinsured.Don't let these hospitals get away with it.They offer very low reduced to the insured while they overcharge some to make up the differences for their losses with not insured.This is done hoping that either the person pays the bill, files bankruptcy, gives up property etc and they hope they do not get caught and it slides by.For instance if your not insured and you bill is say $1,000 for er bill and you pay out of pocket, but the insured persons bill is a $150.00 etc.Do fall victim to this.It is what I call a scam that is trying to be made legal.Please pass it on to a professional attorney if you think you have been a victim of this recently or in the pass.Remember each state has a stature of limitation to how long you have to file a cross suit against the violating party.Stand for your rights as a human being.Also this not only happens here but in many other situations as cable, phone etc.Supreme court has allowed a lot of these companies to legally do this.Read your contracts carefully before signing, you are giving up class action rights and other rights when signing all kinds of agreements.

Posted by Anonymous on

My husband had a sore on his arm. It was the weekend so he chose the emergency room. They did no blood test. Just examined the sore then prescribed oral anitbiotics and topical cream. They charged our insurance $1,599.53!! We now have a bill that we are responsible for - $749.00.

Posted by Texas on

The hospital billed me for $12,745.44. I owe $9,559.08 for a kidney stone. I think that is a bit much.

Posted by Arizona on

I was in an accident in which I cut the back of my head, and went to the er for stitches. Because of the speed involved, they claimed I could have head trauma. I repeatedly stated I had not hit my head, had not lost consciousness and had no concussion after a half hour. I received seven staples and was released. There was no care whatsoever for head trauma beyond staples. Now they are billing me $7,000 for head trauma.

Posted by Colorado on

One Emergency room visit with an MRI ordered by my primary care physician cost $24,485.00. My insurance paid 80% and they want to collect over 3,600 for a co-pay. I am trying to research this ridiculous fee and I asked for itemized. I need help with this bill and how to fight this. Can a hospital charge whatever they want? Is there not average rates of these fees? I have never seen anything like this in my life. What are my rights as a patient?

Posted by Colorado on

Grossly overcharged on ER medical bills. One of our three bills was around $1200, all that was done was a blood and urine test. The staff was unfriendly, rude, unprofessional, and did not respect my wife's boundaries regarding past traumatic issues. We got a cat scan on the third visit, was told that the cost would be $700 but our bill states over $2000. I know that they overcharge, and I don't find it fair. Not only are they overcharging, but they are providing inadequate service. We've been there a total of 3 times and they haven't done anything to diagnose or improve my wife's condition.

Posted by Oregon on

A three hour emergency room visit that resulted in approx. $10,000 in bills. Asked for an itemized deduction, showed CT scan for $5800 was the biggest piece, single dose medicine for $560, $250, and $142, $112, and $28, along with the $1500 emergency room fee. Not sure what the going rates are for CT scans, but the pharmacy charges are outrageous. I get the same pills by prescription for $5. These were all facility charges, the doctor's bill was separate, $850, and labs, $170.

Posted by Oregon on

I was charged nearly $10,000 by the hospital for a 4 hour trip to the ER during which I received only a brief exam and was given a CT Scan which confirmed I had a fractured orbital floor. After the "in-network" discount and Blue Shield's portion of the payment, I was left with a $4500 bill. The hospital conducted an "internal audit" of my bill after a lot of complaining. The "audit" resulted in a one paragraph response letter 8 months later stating simply that the charges are valid and there is nothing they can do. I have looked at medical blue book estimates for the services I received which appear to typically only cost a few hundred dollars.

Posted by California on

My insurance provider covered 90% of the surgeon's charge of $850, but can only cover 50% of the hospital Auburn Regional Medical Center WA charge of $1675 for Emergency room usage. I have to pay out of pocket $800 to remove a wasp sting!

Posted by Washington on

My insurance covered some of it but the hospital is harrassing me for the balance. I've asked for a detailed break down of the charges but have yet to receive it.

Posted by Pennsylvania on

I went to the emergency room after I passed out and urinated while passed out. I threw up on the way there. I got great care, but it was a simple IV of saline solution. A week later got a bill for $1,141. I make 16,000 a year and cannot afford this.

Posted by Oregon on

I had to go to ER For an abcessed tooth. I was prescribed an anti biotic and sent home. I was charged $1000.00 for this visit even though my insurance is $50.00 copay for ER visits. For six ER visits in the last year we were charged over $1000.00 for each even though insurance is $50.00 copay for ER visits.

Posted by Idaho on


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